A large number of passenger buses and trucks on Wednesday left here for Jiribam bordering Assam, escorted by heavily armed Manipur Rifles troopers on Highway 53, where Naga tribal students have imposed an economic blocakade.

While passengers are on their way to various States, the trucks are carrying essential commodities.

Several buses and trucks, which have been stranded at Jiribam for more than 40 days, will be brought here.

Some trucks and buses reached Imphal through Highway 150 via Mizoram. But the 700-km highway is in a bad condition.

The government was under pressure to make the 225-km Highway 53 operational. Two military cargo planes have been airlifting life-saving drugs and other essential commodities. Rice has been brought from Guwahati for being sold at government controlled rates.

The tribal students are protesting against the autonomous district council elections and the bar on the visit of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) general secretary, Thuingaleng Muivah, to Manipur.

The All-Assam Manipuri Students' Union has threatened to retaliate, imposing a blockade from the Assam side if Naga students do not withdraw their protest.

Probe ordered

Meanwhile, the Manipur government has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the May 6 police firing at the Mao gate during a mob violence, in which two tribal students were killed.

The inquiry will be headed by Nidhi Kesarwani, Senapati district magistrate.

The tribals resorted to agitations in protest against the refusal by the Manipur government to allow Thuinglang Muivah to visit Manipur.

On Tuesday, the office of the sub-divisional officer at Purul in Senapati district was torched by miscreants in the early hours.

Already 22 government offices were set on fire by suspected tribals in various districts.

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